Alright, I've missed the Christmas card deadline. And yes, I know, it's been quite a while since I've posted. Is visiting the U.S., dealing with 13 hour time changes, being 9 months pregnant, and preparing for Christmas a good excuse? I hope so, because that's all I've got! Everything else just amounts to good old laziness. That, and the fact that Shaun received the computer game "warcraft" for Christmas and I didn't have access to the computer for a good 5 days. That might've been a mistake on my part. . . . but no worries, baby will be here soon and warcraft will be as good as gone!
This year it sure didn't feel like Christmas in Taipei, with temperatures in the mid-70's and no signs of the holiday around town. I did hear that bus drivers were dressing like Santa, but somehow that didn't cut it for me. I wanted the music, the lights, the decorations, the snow, the shopping mayhem! We were able to participate in a community Nativity pageant with members of our church, which helped us to feel the Christmas spirit. Shaun was a wise man and Sophie did a great job singing in the choir! I'll post a video link of her performance--Sophie is the one on the front row that takes control of the microphone, the one you hear above all others :) The nativity is held yearly in the amphitheater of a local park, and several hundred Chinese attend. Quite a bit of work, but everyone enjoys putting it on for the locals here to show them what Christmas is really about.
We were able to spend both Christmas Eve and Christmas night with friends. It was nice to have company and enjoy friendship in the absence of family. We had a fun drawn-out Christmas morning. Each present had to be opened, put together, and played with for a good length of time before moving on to the next present. This was the first time Sophie actually remembered it was Christmas when she woke up in the morning, and boy oh boy did she make sure we got out of bed to see what Santa brought! She never gave Santa a good indication of what she wanted this year--her desires ranged from a jack-in-the-box, to an ice-cream maker, to a Strawberry Shortcake doll with long hair for styling and a head that opened up to study the brain and eyes. Santa decided to bring her roller skates instead, and later we overheard Sophie telling her friends "I didn't even tell Santa what I wanted, but he knew exactly! It was magic! Isn't that cool?" Of course she had to put on the skates and associated gear right away, and after she had cruised through the apartment a few times, she exclaimed "This is the happiest day of my life!!!"
Lucas had just one request for Santa--a "footballie", and that's exactly what he got. He's been lugging it around ever since. That boy loves his pigskin. It's a hoot to watch Shaun relive his boyhood as he plays slow-motion football with Doobie.
Shaun successfully stayed out of the doghouse this year by ordering from my wishlist at Amazon.com. We debated this though--should a husband be placed in the doghouse if he doesn't think of the gifts himself and has to get ideas from his wife???
Shaun and I got sick the day after Christmas and spent our remaining vacation lying around the house while the kids tore it apart. You'll see from the pictures what happens when children aren't monitored at our house. Yesterday we kept finding clumps of Sophie's hair on her shirt, the floor, in her food, washing her hair in the shower, and for the life of us we just couldn't figure out what was going on. Shaun started to freak out and did a major online search for hair loss in children. He gave me a long talk about malnourishment and the importance of vitamins, and recommitted himself to monitoring Sophie's food intake. Later that evening, we found scissors on the floor of Sophie's room, next to a nicely sliced lock of hair. Upon further inspection, we noticed that Sophie had several short "tweety-bird" hairs sticking up at the crown of her head. Oh. So now the scissors are banished.
You may view pictures of all of the mentioned activities by clicking on the link under "see us live--pics Dec 2008" I hope this counts as our Christmas card, 'cause this is what you're getting!!! We love you all and miss you! Have a wonderful New Year and you'll hear from us soon regarding little Sister Sue!!!